Ben Milbourne Celebrates Key Moments With Victorian and Tasmanian Wineries

Press Release | June 2015

MasterChef finalist Ben Milbourne will be celebrating key moments with Taltarni Vineyards and Clover Hill Wines as a brand ambassador for the renowned wineries in Victoria and Tasmania.
Since being a finalist on MasterChef in 2012, Ben put his chemistry teaching career on hold to release two cookbooks, travel the world filming food exploits with MasterChef mate Andy Allen, host his own TV show, ‘Ben’s Menu’, for which he has been shortlisted for a Logie, and conduct ‘One Degree’ tours of Tasmania’s north-west coast, removing the degrees of separation between people, produce and producer.
As a proud Tasmanian, Milbourne said, “It is an honour to be the brand ambassador for Clover Hill, a boutique Tasmanian sparkling house that crafts some of the country’s finest méthode-traditionnelle sparklings, as well as Taltarni Vineyards, one of the founding wineries of Victoria’s beautiful Pyrenees region.

“Both wine and food have played such an important part in the significant moments throughout my life. Good food and great wine were always an opportunity to share key moments with friends and family, and this philosophy is embodied by Taltarni and Clover Hill. Growing up in Tasmania, I was surrounded by an appreciation of the care and dedication that that is involved in creating world class produce and wine, and both Taltarni and Clover Hill are a testament to this philosophy.”

As part of Ben’s ambassadorial role, he will be the celebrity chef at all of Taltarni’s upcoming Cellar Key Club events. In an attempt to better accommodate Taltarni’s growing membership base, this year’s annual sell-out club dinner at Taltarni Vineyards will be supported by additional club dinners in Sydney, Hobart and Melbourne.
Ben will also be creating tantalising recipes to complement all of Taltarni’s and Clover Hill’s wines, some of which will no doubt feature on Ben’s televised segments. Moreover, there will be exciting social media campaigns, including the opportunity for fans to be treated to an exclusive wine dinner with friends up at Taltarni’s Cellar Cave – prepared, of course, by Ben.

Clover Hill Wines and Taltarni Vineyards are run by the same management team, led by CEO Adam Torpy, also a born-and-bred Tasmanian. “There are terrific synergies between Ben and our wineries,” said Adam. “We share similar philosophies on food and wine. To us, wine is about sharing key moments with friends and family, so first and foremost, wine must be food friendly. Ben’s recipes will bring out the best in our wines, and our wines will bring out the best in Ben’s recipes.”
With food by Ben and wines by Taltarni and Clover Hill, this ‘one-degree’ partnership is deliciously good news for those who are passionate about Australian food and wine.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Tom Hughes | Client Manager Dig&Fish | 03 9827 4466 | 0400 121 538 |


Clover Hill Vintage Report 2015

At the end of a mild summer with lower than average rainfall, it was time to commence harvest a little earlier than usual on the 12th of March at our Coal Valley Vineyard. We began with Pinot Noir, quickly followed by our Chardonnay, both destined for our Clover Hill sparklings, with this year’s juices showing great natural acidity and lean flavours of lime, apple and peach.


The cool, windy weather that challenged our Pipers River Vineyard just after flowering resulted in lower yields than expected, and as with Coal Valley, harvest began early.

Scheduled around wet and windy days, the harvest result was fantastic. Points for the positive, we harvested grapes with great flavour concentration and intensity.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of Pinot Noir but we made some very exciting Chardonnay sparkling base. The acidity levels are naturally very high, so we decided that some batches would go through malolactic fermentation to soften the wines and make them more approachable.

By the end of the harvest season it was still cool but quite dry, enabling us to make a still wine Chardonnay and Pinot Gris in 2015.

Overall, this 2015 is a vintage with great intensity of flavour and fresh characters, which should translate to one of the best Clover Hill Vintages.

Clover Hill Classic Vintage Cuvée – 95 points, Huon Hooke

Clover Hill Classic Vintage Cuvée

95 Points, Huon Hooke

“Medium straw yellow colour. Nutty, smoky, toasty aromas showing some depth of age. It’s intense and concentrated on the palate with great depth of flavour and amplitude, lovely balance and good length – finishing quite dry and very cleanly. Rich, powerful sparkling wine. Very, very good Aussie bubbles indeed!”

Purchase now


Clover Hill Vintage Brut 2008

94/100 points!

“Tasmanian sparkling wine gets better and better. Clover Hill’s 2008 is a very fine, quietly complex example – apple, citrus and biscuity notes are woven through a lightly creamy, tangy mouthful.”

-          Ralph Kyte-Powell, October 30, 2012

Clover Hill Vintage Brut 2008

Stockists: Camperdown Cellars; Dan Murphy’s stores.

Winemaker comments

It has an attractive pale straw colour with a green hue. The wine is showing a fine bead and persitent mousse. The bouquet displays complex layers of lemon, ripe apples and honey, with toasty, nutty yeast characters derived from time on lees and the aged reserve wine.  An elegant wine with superb length, it will continue to improve under cork for up to 10 years.
Alcohol: 12.4% VOL
Winemaker: Karina Dambergs



Clover Hill “Tasmanian Cuvée” New Product Launch | Press Release

Tasmanian boutique sparkling house Clover Hill is releasing a much-anticipated non-vintage sparkling exclusively for the on-premise market under the label “Clover Hill Tasmanian Cuvée”. This new Clover Hill wine will officially launch at the start of September in time for the traditional sparkling season.

“Clover Hill was established in 1986 as a sparkling house to rival the great Champagne Houses of France,” says CEO Adam Torpy, “so, in accordance with the traditional champagne model, we’re introducing a non-vintage sparkling to the range.”

Clover Hill’s folio now comprises the Tasmanian Cuvée, The Classic Cuvée Vintage Brut and the Cuvée Exceptionnelle Blanc de Blancs and Rosé, two wines which are only crafted during years in which the perfect climatic conditions produce an exceptional vintage.

There is a clear and definitive channel strategy for Clover Hill’s new Tasmanian Cuvée. “The focus for this wine,” says Torpy, “is the on-premise market. We identified an opportunity for an on-premise exclusive, particularly one at this price point, and seized it. We also wanted to demonstrate our commitment to the on-premise trade by supporting them with an exclusive consumer-oriented offering.” Justin Lane has been the first establishment within Queensland to list the new wine, with the prestigious Grossi Group having quickly followed suit.

Whereas the fruit for the Classic Cuvée Vintage Brut is sourced entirely from the winery’s Pipers River estate, the fruit for the Tasmanian Cuvée is sourced from both the Pipers River estate as well as the company’s other Tasmanian vineyard, Tea Tree, which is located in the Coal Valley. According to group sparkling winemaker Karina Dambergs, it provides her “with the opportunity to blend regions to make a wine that truly expresses Tasmania, hence the name.”

In keeping with Clover’s house style, the Tasmanian Cuvée, like the Vintage Brut, is a chardonnay-dominant wine. “Both these wines,” says Dambergs, “express the beautiful chardonnay characters of our Piper’s River estate: lovely rounded fruit on the front palate and a sublime acid line as well as crushed oyster shell characters as they age. Clover’s first vintage, in 1991, was made from 100% chardonnay as, of course, is our flagship Cuvée Exceptionelle Blanc de Blancs.”

With the ever-growing popularity of Tasmanian sparkling, this on-premise exclusive, with both strong Tasmanian brand cues and a favourable price point, is sure to keep more people “in Clover” more often.

For more information, please contact:

Rosemary Shisler | Marketing Manager Australia/Asia | Goelet Wine Estates | 0437 394 637

GWE’s Australian Winemakers | Same Faces, Different Places

Press Release – Thursday, June 14th, 2012

GWE’s Australian Winemakers | Same Faces, Different Places

Goelet Wine Estates (GWE), the umbrella company for both Taltarni Vineyards and Clover Hill here in Australia, has recently undergone an exciting new restructure to better utilise its existing wine-making talent for the betterment of all its key stakeholders.

With the departure of much-loved chief operating officer and chief winemaker Loïc Le Calvez, former senior winemaker Karina Dambergs and former winemaker Robert Heywood are enthusiastically taking the wine-making reins.

Karina Dambergs, in her new role as Clover Hill Operations Manager and Group Sparkling Winemaker, has relocated permanently down to Clover Hill and, with a passion for both sparkling wine and Tasmania, finally feels like she’s “home”.

“The thing that excites me the most,” says Dambergs, “is getting to make a portfolio of sparkling wines from fruit planted and grown exclusively for that purpose. I’m also excited to try and help push the reputation of Tasmanian sparkling wine. I think it has the potential to be a world-class wine style as Tasmania becomes more renowned as a premier cool-climate region.”

The fruit from Tea Tree, GWE’s new Southern Tasmanian-based vineyard in the Coal Valley, provides Dambergs with the opportunity to blend regions to make wines that truly express Tasmania, while also showcasing single-vineyard wines from two very different Tasmanian micro-climates. “With 14 years experience making sparkling base, we have no doubt she’ll do justice to both as well as Taltarni’s flagship sparklings,” says CEO Adam Torpy.

Having already given a sparkling master class at this year’s ICCS in Hobart, Karina will now be on location to represent Clover Hill at Wine Tasmania and Tamar Valley Wine Route events.

Back at Taltarni Vineyards, the wine-making talents of Robert Heywood will be focussed on Taltarni’s pedigree reds in his new role as Taltarni’s Senior Winemaker. With an interest and an aptitude for making still reds, in particular Shiraz and Cabernet, Robert is in his element. Having been actively involved in the direction of Taltarni’s still wines for a few years now, the 2009 Estate Shiraz and Cabernet in particular are an early indication of what we can look forward to with Robert at the helm.

“One of the things I love about making reds,” says Heywood, “is seeing the potential in the wine you have in your glass post-vintage and being tasked with realising it two or three years down the  track. Seeing the wine grow and improve with age while knowing that it’s a reflection of the hard work of all those people involved in creating it is really fulfilling.

“My goal is to continue to reward Taltarni’s existing loyal customer base with beautiful cellar-worthy reds, while making more approachable innovative wines for a whole new generation of Taltarni consumers to enjoy. Knowing the potential of this vineyard, it is a great honour to be tasked with realising it.”

Robert is looking forward to meeting and greeting the media and the trade at a number of upcoming Taltarni events, both here and overseas.

For more information, please contact Rosemary Shisler Marketing Manager Australia/Asia, Goelet Wine Estates | 0437 394 637

Cin cin Karina Dambergs | Galli Wine Scholarship Dux

We’re thrilled to relay that our recently appointed group sparkling winemaker, Karina Dambergs, was announced as the winner of the prestigious 2012 Galli Wine Scholarship at a dinner held at Union Dining last night in Melbourne.

Now in its fourth year, the Lorenzo Galli Wine Scholarship was set up by Pamela Galli in honour of her late husband.  It’s designed to celebrate and explore the diversity and richness of Italian wine, while showcasing the latest Australian interpretations and trends with regard to Italian varietals.

Karina’s essay application was one of ten selected by scholar convenors Jane Faulkner and Michael Trembath, with those shortlisted attending a 2-day Masterless at Galli. The group’s examination yesterday comprised a rigorous blind tasting of around 150 top wines as well as a written component.

As the awarded dux, Karina has won a trip to Italy valued at $10,000. Cin cin, Karina!

Pamela Galli presents Karina Dambergs with the 2012 Galli Scholarship
Karina Dambergs – Group Sparkling Winemaker, Clover Hill & Taltarni